In a startling revelation, three crucial flagship schemes under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program Scheme are pending in Kashmir, while there is no exact data of casual and daily-wager employees in PHE and Irrigation department. Taking strong note of the development, Minister for PHE and Irrigation Sham Lal Sharma today directed his officials to frame the list of all daily-rated and casual labor employees within five days so that a comprehensive policy could be framed to address their issues.
Sources told a local news agency, KNS that development surfaced during a review meeting chaired by Sham and MoS PHE and Irrigation Nazir Gurezi at a guest house here. During the representation presented by the officials of PHE, it was noticed that crucial flagship schemes under AIBP have not been implemented due to no financial support from the government of India. The Minister took serious note of the issue and directed the top officials of the PHE to work out a plan so that all technical hitches are cleared and the scheme is implemented.
According to officials of PHE, at least three projects under AIBP worth Rs 2.50 crore continue to remain grounded following some technical hitches. An official told KNS that these schemes were supposed to be launched at Grimtoo in Kulgam, Lar in Budgam and Zainageer in Sopore.
The Minister directed the officials to work out the modalities so that the technical hitches are cleared and these schemes are implemented on ground without any further delay. Another issue that cropped up in the meeting was that officials were reluctant to produce the data related to the number of casual and daily rated workers, their appointment and nature of job in the PHE department.
“I need to know the exact number of these people. We need to compensate those who are working in real sense. Those who are not working need to be shown the door,” Sham told the officials. He set five days deadline to the officials for producing the exact number of daily wagers and casual labourers.
MoS PHE and Irrigation Nazir Gurezi insisted that there should be a week’s deadline, but Sham said since the matter was urgent in nature, the data has to be available with him within five days.
The Minister has also directed the officers to focus on revenue collection from the commercial centre. Sources privy to the meeting told KNS, said that Sham said at least Rs 400 crore revenue could be realized. “We have 14000 commercial water connections and if we recover the revenue from all these connections that would fetch us revenue in millions. So for a time being, we should not focus domestic consumers as we have to catch the big fish,” Sham said.